According to a recent article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin dairy industry is working to raise around $16 million to renovate Babcock Hall Dairy.
Why Babock Hall? Then and Now
Babcock Hall at The Universtiy of Wisconsin-Madison is home to the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research and the Food Science Department. The hall was named after Stephen Babcock who developed a milk fat test that is still used today to test the quality of milk to determine which batches are best for cheesemaking.
The significance of Babcock Hall to Wisconsin is not just historical, the cheesemakers trained at Babcock Hall serve as cheese doctors on call. Cheesemakers around the state can contact a Babcock Hall cheeesemaker if they are having a problem with their cheese, and the “cheese doc” will diagnose it and recommend a course of action. The advice of the cheese docs has even been sought out by big corporations like Dominos and McDonalds. Proving when you need a cheese expert, Wisconsin is the place to be.
Keeping Up With the Cheesemakers
The problem is, you can have the best doctor in the world but if his office is in a run down shack you might think twice about his qualifications. That’s what’s happening at Babcock Hall, the dilapidated 60 year old dairy plant does not reflect the expertise of the cheesemakers trained there. Plus, the latest cheesemaking techniques need the latest cheesemaking equipment, which Babcock Hall sorely needs. In the light of recent upgrades to dairy plants at universities in New York and South Dakota, Wisconsin needs to update the plant to maintain our state’s tradition of cheese excellence. Considering the Wisconsin cheese is a $27 billion a year industry that employs 146,000, money spent on Babcock Hall improvements is money well spent.
Want to try some cheese and ice cream tasty enough to wear the Babcock Hall logo? Visit Wisconsinmade.com to have it shipped to your door anywhere in the continental USA. (Note: Cheese is not available for shipping during summer months.)